I have a lot of breakdowns during a training cycle. (Mainly because I keep entering events that are inconceivably difficult.) My latest meltdown involved me screwing up my biblical monthly training plan and throwing it in the bin, (in a rather dramatic hissy fit, I add.) I’d spent hours on that plan. It had 4 different colours. *sob*
The colours were the problem. You see, The Plan was so visually clear that I could see at a glance what a ridiculous amount I intended to put in that month. My wonderfully conceived triple blue, red AND purple days loomed horrendously.
So? I’ve been winging it for a few weeks. It’s been nice. At half term, I clocked up loads of running on the hills; as Spring has sprung, I’ve fallen back in love with my bike and, I’ve finally had a Eureka moment down the pool.
And? I’ve skipped all the yucky, horrible speed sessions that I promised myself that I would do this year. (Oops!) I had really good reasons though. Track 2 days after a marathon? Best not. Pancake Day? Flipping family time!
I’ll fess up; if it’s not written down and, I don’t like it, I won’t do it.Putting a session on The Plan is my way of committing to it. I rarely deviate from The Plan. Shame. The Plan was now landfill.
There’s another session carefully marked on The Plan that I don’t like. Almost worse than sprints. *Cue theme from Jaws.* REST DAY. Now, I don’t deliberately skip rest days when I’m off script; I just don’t realise.
WAIVER. I fully understand the importance of rest and recovery in the training process. It’s a vital part of getting stronger and, more importantly, warding off injury. (The thing is, all this stuff is such an integral part of my lifestyle now, that stopping, even for a day, takes effort.)
My main barrier to rest is my commute, which I either cycle or run. I get my miles in with zero impact on family life. I hate finishing work, standing at the bus stop for ages to crowd onto a busy bus, (which is actually slower than my trotting the direct route over the hill.) I get home crabby, still thinking about work and I’ve paid £4.70 for the privilege.
So Monday to Friday I run/cycle; I swim when the pool timetable allows and, catch up with friends on a Saturday morning at Parkrun before grabbing a quiet lane for a leisurely swim.
Weekends are when I look forward to the long stuff. All week I daydream and plan my forthcoming microadventures, be it ambling along the trails or cycling quiet country lanes. I ponder pleasant routes with interesting landmarks to selfie with, contemplate cakey cafe stops or I enter races which are offering a nice bit of bling.
And, when I wonder why I’m not that enthusiastic about the harder sessions, I realise that I’ve just done 12 days on the bounce.
Endurance, though, is built day in day out. It’s keeping your body moving every single day. It’s accepting that some days you’re tired, but that it doesn’t matter. For me, to date, endurance training has been low intensity stuff, perfectly sustainable for weeks at a time. (Remember, triathlon works different muscle groups and swimming and cycling are non-weight bearing). I love a good swim as recovery after a long run! I think I’m good at knowing my limits and, in a zen-like manner, I rest when I feel that my body needs it. *adopts lotus position.*
The difference this year is that I’ve committed myself to strength and conditioning sessions and those nasty, nasty speedwork ones (both on the track and in the pool.) This type of training does demand more of the body and, rest and recovery really is important.*BOO*
Harumph. I’ve been reprimanded. I’m back on The Plan. Repeat after me “I must remember to rest!”
- I’ve de-cluttered The Plan, so that not every easy commute is staring out at me and, I can see the key sessions.
- I’ve resigned myself to the fact that any races between now and July are about “time on feet” rather than glorious pb hunting, (which is actually a shame now that I’m actually doing some actual speed training.)
- I’m not worrying about hitting mileage targets or trying to be an ace swimmer/cyclist/runner when I should be balancing the three.
- I’m editing this sat on the bus because today’s a rest day.
I’m keeping an eye on the goal.
I’m not getting bogged down.